The opening pool rounds of this year’s Premiership Rugby 7s Competition sponsored by JP Morgan kicked off at Kingsholm Rugby Stadium the home of the infamous Cherry and Whites.
Two members of the Army 7s team were selected to play for Bath after their performances playing for the Reds in the UKs top amateur fixtures this season. Cpl Tuvita Tamatawale RLC and LCpl Raymond Bishop 1 R Welsh demonstrated their exceptional talents in front of 12,952 spectators and the world renowned “The Shed”! Being transmitted via BT Sports Live by satellite and cable, it was a dream come true for both players who scored some outstanding tries demonstrating the skills within the Reds and the development of the new team this season.
For Cpl “Tams” Tamatawale, this was a dream come true. Being selected during a scouting trip to Germany in 2011, Tams has developed as a player and worked hard to improve his game. Being selected as the Reds team skipper for 2013, Tams has led by example both on and off the pitch, developing new players and giving advice and guidance with a gentle nudge is his own style that has seen him gain the respect from the 7s family and afar. Speaking to Tams post match “this was a wonderful opportunity to represent the Army, Corps and my Family, thank you to all those who have supported me on my journey, I truly hope we did you proud”, talking to some of the press and some of England’s 7s Management “the Army boys played exceptionally well this evening”.
LCpl “Bish” Bishop has in his first season with the Reds step up to the mark and performed beyond all expectations. Being spotted playing for the R Welsh and infantry in various tournaments, he has been on the Reds radar for a long time. Totally grasping the bull by the horns he has constantly demonstrated his blistering pace to be one of the leading gas men in the team. A passionate Welshman, rugby is in his blood and by this evening’s performance blasting down the wing outside of Worcester strong defence to score a scintillating try for Bath showed his astonishing pace on the professional circuit (even the Shed applauded the talented display). Talking to Bish post match “this has been a wonderful experience for me and one I will always cherish, having the trust placed in me by the Army 7s Management is appreciated and the 7s family have supported me throughout – thank you”. Talking with a couple of media men post match “that boy has gas, he should have been in the 2012 Olympics with that speed”, for the Army 7s team we are glad he wanted to play rugby!
An inspirational comment made by both players did embrace the core values of the team “We are Soldiers First and Sportsmen Second” a motto that has been with the team since 2009, “we go out on the field not only for ourselves, we go out on the field for those serving officers and soldiers who can’t be with us due to operational commitments or paying the ultimate sacrifice. Last week we sadly buried one of those fallen heroes, performing to our best ability is a proud moment we will always cherish”.
Overall, the first leg for the debutants from the Army 7s team in 2013 JP Morgan Series was an outstanding success, both the management and players acknowledge the sacrifices and commitment to the team and we wish them well for future months.